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Theatre / Dido, Queen of Carthage

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Dido, Queen of Carthage is a play by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe, based on the tale of Dido and Aeneas.

This play contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Marlowe gives this to Dido, compared to her depiction in The Aeneid.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In The Aeneid, Aeneas really doesn't promise Dido anything (he just sort of lets her believe they're betrothed). In this, however, he quite explicitly swears to stay by her side and love no other.
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  • All Love Is Unrequited: Poor Anna loves Iarbas, who loves Dido, who loves Aeneas, who loves...well, he loves Dido, but he puts his destiny first.
  • Break-Up Bonfire: After Aeneas leaves, Dido makes a pile of everything that reminds her of him and sets fire to it. Then she adds herself to the pile.
  • Dying Curse: Dido pronounces one on Aeneas at the end.
  • Jerk Ass Gods: Jupiter and Hera. Even Venus is hardly friendly with Aeneas, while Jupiter is described to be molesting Ganymede.
  • Lover and Beloved: Zeus and Ganymede. At the beginning of the play, Ganymede is seen sitting on Jove's lap coquetting away in order to get more presents from him.
  • Mama Bear: Venus may not often actually be around her son, what with being a goddess, but she will to go bat for him and her grandson every day of the week. She threatens Juno quite violently when she finds the latter about to murder a sleeping Ascanius, and is only staved off by a quick lie about Juno really trying to save the kid from a snake. It's also mentioned that she dove into battle multiple times to save Aeneas.
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  • Starcrossed Lovers: Dido and Aeneas. He is fated to go to Italy and marry someone else, and can't refuse.
  • Woman Scorned: Dido pronounces a Dying Curse on Aeneas after he abandons her to go in search of his destiny.